Monday, August 31, 2009

First day of Kindergarten

Remember when I posted this?

Time to put the rubber to the pavement...

So, today was Adam's first day of kindergarten.
I can't believe he's old enough to start elementary school! Feels like yesterday we brought him home from the hospital. I'm sure most mothers say that...but its true. I'm very happy we made the decision to send him to St. Mark. It truely is our home away from home. Here's a few pics of his first day!
The principal greeted us right away on our way in.
Adam taking Colin by the hand to show him the classroom.
I'm not sure if he was just being a nice big brother or if he was nervous and needed a hand to hold. Either way, it was a cute photo op.
Adam in front of the door.
(Already getting sick of me taking pictures.)
And so it begins....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The end of an era

Each milestone with Colin is a little bittersweet. It's nice to be out of the "baby" stages, but its also sad to see some things pass that I had loved. The cuddling, the footed sleepers, the way a baby's head smells after a bath.

Then I remember the semi-comatose state that you're in for the first 6 months, and I think I'll pass. Being urinated on, mastitis, hormones, ugh.

In a matter of a few days, we have made a few more steps away from that time in our lives. Here's some documentation:

The baby gate from the kitchen to the living room is down. I loved this gate, it was my salvation during dinner time preparation. Colin figured out how to open it- then Adam broke it was just in the way. Now its not.

This is Colin's dinner chair. No booster. He was only using it during family dinner. All other meals, he hyjacked someone else's seat. So, its gone too.
Out comes the potty seat. Colin's been expressing some interest in the potty lately. But he's the type of kid that likes to be in control. If I need to lift him up on the toilet, he's not in control. So, we hauled the little one out.

Since seeing the little potty yesterday, Colin has gone in it twice- all self-initiated. He asked to go potty, we got his diaper off, and he sat on it and went. I'm sooo hoping this is a continuing trend for him!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My brothers visit- Part 2- Family pictures

So, we decided to have some family pictures taken while Dan and his family were home. The last family picture we had taken had only an engagement ring on my finger and just Hunter.

Needless to say, it was a tad outdated.

Just a tad.

Anyway, we enlisted the awesome photography skills of our friend, Renee, to help us capture our time together. You can check out her site by clicking here.

The night was perfect for pictures! The weather cooperated as well- we lucked out. These were taken off the north pier in Grand Haven. These are a few of my favorites:

Good shot of my mom and dad:

My brother's family:

All four boys:

The men of the family (I love this picture!!!):

Papa Ken and his grandsons- I have never seen a papa so proud:

I also love that my dad wore his velvet hat for these

It's not really papa Ken without the hat. :)

Love, Love,Love this shot:

My family:

BTW: #90- Get a family picture taken.

My family:

wish I could reach out and hug them.

Portrait Party!

It's no surprise that Dave and I appreciate a little entrepreneurial spirit. He's a self-starter and an entrepreneur himself. So, when the time came to make the List, I wanted to think of ways to support another self-starter. While I had a few people in mind, Renee was the person I really had on the top of my head when I made this item on the list.

Our friend, Renee, has been doing photography for a few years now. She's the one who took the picture I use as my header. A few years ago, we heard about the idea of a portrait party, and thought it was a great idea! I told Renee that if she ever took her photography hobby to the next level, Dave and I would support her by hosting. Two years later, here we are!

Below you'll find the invitation she designed. The date of our party is September 19 (rain date the 20th). I only have two slots left to fill. I'm so excited to be able to host!

Stay tuned for updates on this! By the way, its number 59 on the list. But, I won't cross it off until I can post pictures of a successful day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I grew up in a small town where we were free to roam all over during the day (within limits, of course) to visit our friends a few roads over. We knew almost everyone on the street (well, we knew who to avoid and who to bother). It was awesome Kids playing everywhere. Eggs and cups of sugar borrowed here and there. It was great.

I don't know what's happening to our neighborhoods nowadays. I really miss that feeling of community that I had growing up. Perhaps it was because I was a child, but I just seem to notice more closed garage doors than I see open. When we first moved into the Love Shack, I didn't know what to expect in the way of neighbors. It seemed like an awfully quiet street. But I hit the neighbor jackpot in the backyard.

The Hulsts were serving at a church behind us, and the parsonage was in the back of the parking lot. There were two kids there (with one on the way)- all around Adam's age. As the years went on, this family became part of our community here. Not only did the kids become a permanent part of Adam's heart (and Colin's now too), but their mom became a part of my heart. Being able to sit and chat in the backyard while the kids play on the jungle gym- taking turns watching them so we can go whip dinner up and put it in the oven - these are some of the best memories I have from the early Love Shack years. Roasting marshmallows, walks around the parking lot, impromptu drop in visits...loved it all. Loved the idea of having a neighbor I could share with, talk to, pray for, and learn from.

Sad for us, but exciting for them, he received a new call in March. Bad that they're gone. But good that they have the opportunity to grow their family ministry, own their first house, and let others know what awesome neighbors they are. Fortunately, its not too far away. So, when the invitation arose for a visit, I jumped on it!

We drove down there, played with toys, toured the house, and enjoyed some lunch. Look how Adam already looks so at home there.

I wanted to get a pic of all five kids on the front porch of their house. It's sooo not easy getting five kids to smile and look at the same time. Actually, her kids were just fine. My two, totally different story! My fav is in full color below.

Then we went to visit the Air Zoo.

It was quite the learning experience! The kids had fun, and so did we. I probably would have had more fun if I didn't loose Colin for the longest 30 seconds of my life, but I digress...

Another pic of the five kids. Again, her three...great pic. My TWO, not so great.

The older kids got to go on a ride. Adam LOVED it! The boys really had fun. The sister? Not sure if she enjoyed herself or not. She looked a little scared, and didn't want the airplane to go up in the air. She was very content to be the only airplane riding around on the ground...which was just fine with her. :)

The kids also got to ride some free arcade rides in the Kid Corner. Awesome to let them actually ride with the push of a button- no quarters necessary!

On the East campus of the Air Zoo, we got to learn about all the space stuff.

The kids got to play in the Mercury model.

And I got to check out the Mars rover. I took this pic 2 seconds before I realized the little one holding my hand wasn't Colin, by my friend's youngest son. (Seriously, took about 3 weeks off my life on that one).

And as we left, Adam had the largest (loudest) meltdown ever. Ever. He screamed for at least 20 minutes on the way home. It was hard to say good-bye that day after enjoying their company. We have missed them terribly this year, but look forward to many visits in the future.

By the way, #66 on the list: Visit the Hulsts. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

My brother's visit- Part 1

Yeah, I'm not sure how many parts this series will have. This is the first time Dan and his family were back in Michigan since 2004.'s been awhile.
The last time Adam saw Uncle Dan, he was just learning to walk.

We had a great visit with Uncle Dan, Aunt Erin, Hunter and Trapper.

This was Colin's first time meeting them.
At first, he didn't want anything to do with them (especially Dan), but with a little persistence, Uncle Dan soon became a favorite.

Below you'll find my super awesome nephews.
I love these boys.
We did tons of totally touristy stuff while they were here.
Beach visit:
Trolley ride (Adam's personal favorite):
They even played at the Imagination Station and ate ice cream at Sweet Temptations
(and put the push pin on the map)
Fun was had by all.
We also spent some time with family and friends.
We took all the boys to see Great Grandma and Great Grandpa (GG and Bumpa)
Grandma was so excited to see Dan and his family.
She didn't stop smiling the whole time we were there.
The boys spent most of the visit running up and down the ramp of their deck.
Uncle Dan took this time to teach Colin how to do the crane move from the Karate Kid.
He also taught Colin to say "BONSAI!"
We also chilled out at the homesteads.
Dave and Dan get along well.
Sometimes a little too well:
We hosted them at our house as well- so they could see the Love Shack,
and celebrate Colin's second birthday.
The boys went toad hunting. They caught 13.

It was so great to see them.
I'm really hoping its not another 4 1/2 years before we get to see them again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

List? OH!!! THAT list!

I've had a lot of emails and telephone conversations reminding me that I'm slacking on the list.

I'm not really slacking...per say.

More like just not updating.
Quite honestly, I have one week left before Adam starts kindergarten, and I want to absorb as much of him as I can before he starts his 13-year trek through basic education.
In addition to that, we're just out making plans- having fun with friends that we really haven't had time to see all summer.
Add to that the fact that I work from home for an awesome company, but am horribly behind in my work- and need to catch up, stay caught up, and hopefully get ahead. (In my job, once you're behind, it's really hard to get your feet under you without LOTS of extra work). Combine this statement with the previous statement- and you have a recipe for some early mornings, busy days, late nights, and a few new stomach ulcers. :/
I will persevere!!!
But this brings me to another update on the List. In the days ahead, I'll be making a few changes to the list. The idea of each bullet point will be the same, but due to some recent developments some changes are in order.
For example, we stopped our membership at the Y due to some budget and time constraints. Now (without the member's discount)a weight lifting class would be too expensive. The replacement will have something to do with fitness/wellness- just cheaper than a weight lifting class.
Additionally, we have come to the (uber sad) conclusion that we probably won't get a small get away this summer. Dave is scheduled too far out on weekends, and the summer is just too far gone. Besides that, tuition payments have started for Adam's school- so all discretionary income we had saved is g-o-n-e. Next year, we WILL plan a vacation (not a visit...a vacation!- that's a silly semantics post waiting to happen), and I WILL put the plans into works before the year is out. I'd also love to go camping next year with our family. I loved camping as a child. I'm not really partial to tents, but wouldn't mind renting a pop-up for a bit. So, our get away this summer will probably change into a camping expedition next year.
At any rate, I hope this post also finds you sucking up what's left of summer and the sunshine remaining. I'll have a lot to update on as the weeks slow down (ha! you laughing yet?!?!) when school begins.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The brothers Hop

So many people have made the comment, "I don't like to compare my kids." Well, my response is, "why not?" We're all different. And if we celebrate those differences (and not use it as a method for favoritism), some comparison can be healthy. I love my boys and I love the fact that they are sometimes as different as night and day. Keeps me on my toes. So, here's some of the differences that I've noticed so far...

...In celebration, of course.

(I can't get this to go into a graph, and don't have excel on this computer, so bare wtih me. Adam's statemetns are first, and Colin's follow)
Adam : Colin:
- is a homebody - loves to be out and about
- is cautious - has no fear- of anything
- is sensitive - is boisterous
- tans super easy- doesn't burn - reflects the sun
- goes to sleep right away - sings for an hour or two before snoozing
-would rather read - would rather sing
- prefers baths - thinks the shower is an adventure
-prefers to hang out with men - loves women
- is a daddy's boy - is a momma's boy
- loves salty snacks - prefers sweets over salts
- gets stomach bugs easily - gets respiratory virus' easily
- is solid as a rock -feels hollow when you pick him up
- enjoys routine - prefers randomness
- likes to be a spectator -likes to be the center of attention
- is a morning person - is a night owl

I can't wait to see how this list expands. These are just a few differences of the brothers' Hop. I'm so grateful to be their mom. Everyday I'm so grateful for my overflowing cup.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!

Two years ago today, our youngest was born.
Two years ago today, our family became complete.

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I love this little guy. Happy Birthday, Colin!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tassell Park

There is a park not far from my house that has a fountain that the boys can run through. Today was one of those days that we just picked up and left the house- no destination in mind- just needed to get out. We started at Target- which is always dangerous to just "kill" time there as it always "kills" the budget too. So, we picked up some essentials and headed for the park.

The boys love it here. It's a great way to burn off some extra energy and fun to meet others that come to visit. There's also great picture opportunities.